EP Review: Shooting Stansfield – We Know Not What We Do

‘Fans of Frightened Rabbit would be urged to check out this up and coming act’ – Peenko

4-piece Edinburgh-based indie folk band Shooting Stansfield are releasing their forthcoming EP, We Know Not What We Do, in June. With influences including the likes of Frightened Rabbit, Bright Eyes and The National, and recorded on the banks of Loch Fyne in Argyll, Scotland, over 5 days, their raw and stomping folk rhythms layered against the band’s talented song-writing will undeniably have you singing along in seconds. With a focus on the themes of transition, time, life and beyond, their melodic EP is consistent with the bandʼs drive for creating meaning.

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EP Review: My Name Is Ian – The Josh Baskins EP


The Josh Baskins EP is written and performed by 23-year-old Ian Williams who is previously from Yeovil, Somerset. Now living in Cardiff, Ian works with the label, Art Is Hard. His second EP was released on 18th July 2011 and is based on the 1988 film Big which starred Tom Hanks.

Opening with ‘Man Enough‘ and following with ‘I’m Breaking Down‘, the EP has a very grungey feel to it with distorted vocals and a fast paced guitar rhythm. The songs are very catchy and work really well together.

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Album Review: Iron & Wine – Kiss Each Other Clean


Kiss Each Other Clean is Iron & Wine‘s fourth studio album (not counting the endless number of EP’s) which was released earlier this year. As singer-songwriter Sam Beam puts it: “It’s more of a focused pop record. It sounds like the music people heard in their parent’s car growing up…that early-to-mid-70s FM, radio-friendly music.” So what are we to expect from a change in genre after nearly a decade of recording music?

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Album Review: Johnny Reb – The Portugal Years

“A quiet yet persistent knock from under the floorboards.”

Johnny Reb are a four-piece band from Glasgow. After releasing two demos earlier last year, the Rebs were whisked away by Morrissey‘s guitarist Boz Boorer to his studios deep in the Portuguese mountains, where they recorded ten songs with Boorer at the helm. Already featured on BBC Radio One and 6Music, their debut album, The Portugal Years, will be released online on Monday 18th April.

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EP Review: Heister


When musicians find themselves writing songs and jamming for hours at a time, they eventually find something they become obsessed with. That’s what happened when Jollan Aurelio and Andres Colmenares started the band Heister in early 2010 after meeting in South Florida from different parts of the world. Not only do they use basic instruments such as the piano and guitar – they play ukulele, harmonium, glockenspiel and percussion in their songs, occasionally switching off instruments, trying to keep their sound delightfully organic and original.

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Album Review: Bright Eyes – The People’s Key

(Written for the Falmouth Navigator).


Frontman Conor Oberst returns after nearly a decade with the long-awaited, eighth album, The People’s Key, from Bright Eyes, which is rumoured to be his last. Following his previous album Cassadaga, which was about finding sense and order, Oberst has taken a new approach with his brilliant songwriting.

As NME describe it, it is a switch “from inner peace to outer space”. Oberst hasn’t written about his own personal experiences with this new album, losing the emotional intensity. But the album itself describes the transition of a new journey, a journey through dreams into space. He has definitely gone out with a bang, even if a high-powered and mystic one at that.

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EP Review: French Wives – Feel Safe Small


French Wives are a five piece indie-pop band from Glasgow. After supporting Mystery Jets, Two Door Cinema Club and Bombay Bicycle Club, headlining the acclaimed T Break Stage at T in the Park and winning the Scotsman Radar Prize, they enter 2011 with a new EP. Their debut EP, Feel Safe Small, is set to be released on February 21st, which will be followed by an extensive UK in support of the record.

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Album Review: Radical Face – Ghost


Ghost is the first and only album by the band Radical Face, a musical act from Ben Cooper. The album was released in March 2007 but has recently gained popularity from the track ‘Welcome Home, Son’ which is currently on a TV advertisement by Nixon, also sponsoring Hollyoaks.

The album opens with a two-minute introduction of acoustic guitars and subtle keyboard notes from ‘Asleep on a Train’ as it flows soothingly into ‘Welcome Home, Son‘.

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Album Reviews: Frightened Rabbit

Frightened Rabbit are currently my favourite band. They formed in 2003 in Scotland and over the years, the indie folk band have formed as 5 members: Scott Huchinson (lead vocals, guitar), Grant Hunchinson (drums, backing vocals), Billy Kennedy (lead guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), Andy Monaghan (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) and Gordon Skene (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals). If you like Mumford and Sons, you will love these. Their albums are really easy to listen to; I have had them on repeat for months and they are brilliant to just lie in bed and think about nothing else to.

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Album Review: Mystery Jets – Serotonin


Serotonin is the fourth album from the five-piece indie band, Mystery Jets, from Eel Pie Island in Twickenham, London. The album was released on 5th July 2010 – a two-year gap without a label since their previous album, Twenty One. Finding a new label with Rough Trade, the band have obviously gone through more troubles of heartache and personal struggle, bringing the album its meaningfulness.

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Album Review: Foals – Total Life Forever


Foals Foals have finally returned with their second album, Total Life Forever. It may have only been two years since the release of their debut album, Antidotes, but this new album, or any sign of life, to be honest, has been long-awaited. I last saw the band at Leeds Festival in 2008, and haven’t heard anything from them since. And what a return they have brought to our attention.

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Album Review: General Fiasco – Buildings


The trio from Northern Ireland released their debut album, Buildings, on March 22nd, 2010. The band have been highly criticised for not breaking any genre moulds with their debut album, and it’s easy to see why. In the past half an hour of listening to their album, I must have compared them to pretty much every other band on my iTunes. Mew, The Pigeon Detectives, Absent Kid, The View…I could go on. But all of these bands had their success a few years ago; it may be hard for these boys to catch up.

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Album Review: Kids In Glass Houses – Dirt


Kids in Glass Houses released their new album Dirt on March 29th, 2010 after a two-year wait from their previous album, Smart Casual.

I’m quite a fan of the Welsh pop-punk band. Their first album was a good listen. A few of the songs such as ‘Give Me What I Want‘ and ‘Saturday‘ are amongst my favourites but then the rest of the album was distinctly average. When I asked my friend what the new album was like, he excitedly replied, “KIGH got some balls.” The implication that they had grown up and gained more talent in their experience meant that I expected a lot from the album.

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Album Review: Two Door Cinema Club – Tourist History


Tourist History is the new album from Two Door Cinema Club, following their 2004 EP, Four Words To Stand On. The trio from Northern Ireland, with the addition of a drum machine, bring an original sound that really gets you moving. Their songs are only an average of 3 minutes long; you can listen to the album in half an hour. But I like this about the album. You hear something new every couple of minutes; you don’t find yourself skipping to the next song.

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Album Review: Mayday Parade – Anywhere But Here


Mayday Parade‘s long-awaited album, Anywhere But Here, was released on October 6th 2009 after the successful album A Lesson in Romantics in 2007. It is the first album released by the band without vocalist/guitarist/lyricist Jason Lancaster. As a fan, I am gutted for the loss. I was unsure what to expect from an album without him involved, but Mayday Parade remain one of my favourite bands and I have not yet been able to stop listening to the album.

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